Barbeque in the sun. I’m exhausted. It was all I could do to get myself to Richmond but it was worth it for the Bloody Maria. I couldn’t manage a drink for the first few hours so I lay on my back and occasionally munched a sausage hoping it would be the one that brought me back. I was refreshing the cricket scores less and less frequently and more and more disconsolately. Eventually I gave up hope and lay alongside an interesting conversation for a while until Tristan shouted my name. “18 left to win” Fuck me sideways. How did they manage that? Ben Stokes.
Three men in shorts and hats standing in a circle around a phone, listening to the cricket commentary. “This is what it must’ve been like in the 1920s” says Tristan. “This is the most middle aged thing I’ve ever done” says Andy.
Another amazing game and we three bonded over that frantic listening. I thought I’d experiment with a Bloody Maria to celebrate. The same principle as Mary but with tequila. I think it helped, although my head still hurts.
Now I’m writing this in the garden. Dogs, meat, music and friends. It’s more sedate than I remember summer barbeques being, but some of us are pregnant. They’re growing tomatoes in the garden. People are talking about Moreno glass and Galileo. Nobody is shotgunning cans of lager and falling asleep in puddles of sick. Earlier today there was a child. Now it’s gone someone might have a sneaky cigarette, oh my. It’s ten past six. I might be gone in a few hours. People are already slowly leaving, talking about which stations they are going to travel through. The sun is setting.
Good to stop though. And good company to stop in. I caught up with Diana earlier today who taught me at drama school. She lives conveniently close to the barbeque and I’m aware that I’m gone for bloody ages in a week. No time to see everybody but I’m gonna keep trying to see as many people as I can. Although next week is gonna be hard work. I’m good with hard work. Good to see Diana. Good to see the barbeque bunch. So many people to see. So little time to see them. And I need to pack my bags for the tour and sort my bedroom out before I go, not to mention make this 5 person Twelfth Night zingy and fun and alive and alert and deft and meant and delightful and truthful. Not such a big ask?
I’m beginning to come back to life. Could this be a second wind? Someone is recommending books to me now. Good God. I’m going to join a conversation and see how I manage.
I did indifferent well at conversation. Now I have retreated to a cool living room and I’m prostate on the sofa about to watch the highlights from today’s cricket. I do enjoy The Ashes. Now where’s my pipe and slippers?